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Innovative Organic Farming in Jamaica

Tony Kleese

FAVACA, in partnership with the Source Farm Foundation (SFF), sent volunteer Tony Kleese, Organic Farm Business and Certification Educator and Consultant at the Earthwise Organics, to the Parish of St. Thomas in Jamaica during April 2014.  While the demand for organic crops has expanded rapidly over the past 20 years in developed nations, Jamaica is just beginning to see significant on-island demand.  Mr. Kleese’s volunteer assignment was to train the producers in innovative design and production strategies that will provide solid yields and improve the soil biology and biodiversity of the land they farm.  

Mr. Kleese developed a spreadsheet for an organic demonstration plot that included: ten-year cash flow budget, crop plan for nine crops, three year crop rotation, enterprise plans for nine crops, equipment and irrigation planning tools, an overhead budget, and a yield and spacing chart. He trained farm leaders on using this spreadsheet to better understand organic production practices, increase income, and improve in farm management and profitability through the use of crop planning and budgeting tools. It is anticipated that the knowledge shared by Mr. Kleese will improve the quality and quantity of crops produced, which will provide a sustainable model for growth in this very poor and underdeveloped parish.

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